Creative YOUCreativity is everywhere. Opportunity is not. We are part of the solution. The secret is in our name. Every year Creative Youth Network gives thousands of young people a taste and thirst for the arts and culture and the joy, life-skills and opportunity they bring. But we want more. Creative YOU is our campaign showcasing how we, you and the engaged, emerging and amazing young creatives we support, come together. We want to reveal how, together, we are ambition, quality, cultural democracy and social mobility in action. Every young person deserves the right to access creativity and development opportunities in the creative and cultural industries. It all starts with education. If all young people have access to creative subjects in school, then talented young people from all backgrounds can pursue their passion, develop crucial skills needed in so many industries and improve their wellbeing. 1. Pledge Add your name and join the many people passionate about bringing creativity back into our schools. With all the pledges we’ll be reaching out to headteachers in Bristol and the South West. We hope this will encourage local academies to give more space to creativity in their curriculum. Bristol, being the creative city we know and love, can pave the way for other regions to do the same, showcasing the true value of creativity. PLEDGE 2. Sign up Join us by signing up to our newsletter where we share best practice of how to support young people. sign up 3. Find out more Join us by reading and sharing our CreativeYOU report which shows how our work brings opportunities for creative expression and enables young people to explore their talent, regardless of background or circumstance. Download our Creative YOU report The third sector's crucial role in Europe's New Skills Agenda In July 2016, the European Commission presented a new Skills Agenda for Europe. Following its launch, the commission brought together educators, partners and young people to discuss how this agenda will be implemented across the member countries. I was lucky to be invited to Brussels to the European Education, Training and Youth Forum 2016, where the 10 main points of the Skills Agenda were discussed over a two days conference. It was a great experience and, as a 'delegated' young person, it certainly enhanced my own skills when it comes to my understanding of the main focuses of European leaders in education at the moment. It wasn't surprising that these main focus points fit quite perfectly with what we do here at Creative Youth Network. What is the Skills Agenda? In the European Union, 70 million people lack reading and writing skills, and even more have poor numeracy and digital skills. This means they are at risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. At the same time, high-qualified young people work in jobs that don't match their skills, objectives or passions. On the other hand, 40% employers claim they can't find the people with the right skills to grow and innovate. The Skills Agenda seeks to find a systematical solution to these issues, focusing on increasing skills level, promoting transversal skills and creating a better relationship between the labour market and the education sector. Main focus From the Youth Forum, in my opinion, the topics that seemed to be the most discussed were very contrasting and thus approached in two different ways: the first was a lack of literacy, numeracy and digital skills in what is still a large proportion of the population; the second was a drive towards entreprenourship, new innovative skills that young people must develop to achieve in tomorrow's job market. How can we make education systems more inclusive? Skills and Beyond Youth work was first brought up as a major part of a young person's skills development in this workshop. Focusing on practical, systematic aspects of how schools and youth workers could work together better to develop young people's skills was great to do in a forum where delegates came from such a wide range of professional backgrounds. The idea which the group came up with might sound familiar to you. Talking about systematic change, a lack of spaces for teachers and youth workers came up. A space which gives freedom to both to interact, find out about how youth workers can give support to teachers and discuss good practice. One of The Station's aims is to be just that. A space which is always available for teachers to take a group to and find out about what's going on with numerous charities in the city at once. Our relationship with teachers and educators at every level is at the heart of how we interact with young people. Youth workers get referals from them and then use their specific skill set to build a trusting and long lasting relationship with young people. A need for the education system to recognise the importance of youth workers was also highlighted. How can we help?